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WWII Fallen soldier honored with road dedication

GUNCREEK – A WWII war hero from Guncreek was honored on June 25 with a road dedication historically marking his sacrifice to the country.

Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher’s story is included in the following resolution, which was signed into the Magoffin County Fiscal Court’s records on May 23 this year, detailing how he received the Silver Star for his heroic acts during the invasion and capture of Sicily, taking out an enemy pillbox, and was fatally wounded during the invasion of Normandy, when he left his vehicle to save a fellow soldier, inevitably using his own body to shield the soldier.

Though Corporal Fletcher paid the ultimate sacrifice, he will be forever remembered in Magoffin County with the Fletcher Branch Road from mile point 0.00 to 0.578 now ceremonially named as Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher Memorial Road.

RESOLUTION -No. 2022-04
WHEREAS, the Magoffin County Fiscal Court wishes to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher to his county; and

WHEREAS, Morris Manuel Fletcher was born October 20, 1917, along Guncreek in Magoffin County; and

WHEREAS, Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher enlisted in the United States Army on February 11, 1941. After basic training, he was assigned to the 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division, stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. The Division Commander, General George “Old Blood and Guts” Patton knew war was coming, and over the next year Patton put Morris and the entire division through grueling training maneuvers in the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia. In November 1942 Corporal Fletcher’s unit saw its first combat action in North Africa, capturing critical facilities in and around Casablanca. After this campaign, Corporal Fletcher was a member of the Honor Guard of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill during the Casablanca Conference of January 1943. The next major combat for Morris was during July and August of 1943 in the invasion and capture of Sicily. It was here where he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in combat action, including his voluntary and single handed taking of an enemy pillbox which had pinned down and inflicted heavy casualties on his unit. It was here that he received his first Purple Heart for wounds he sustained during the capture of Palermo. After several months of rest, re-equipping, and more training in England, Corporal Fletcher’s unit made the epic invasion of Normandy in June 1944. As they spear-headed the attack out of Normandy on August 4th, they came under intense enemy artillery and automatic weapons fire. Corporal Fletcher left his vehicle to rescue a fellow soldier who had been shot and was paralyzed. He reached the man and was trying to tend to his wounds when continuing artillery and land mine explosions severely wounded Morris. Unable to do anything more for his fellow wounded soldier, Corporal Fletcher covered him with his own wounded body. When the skirmish subsided, Corporal Fletcher was still alive and his fellow soldiers tried to pick him up but in a weak voice Morris told his Lieutenant, “Put me down sir, I’m a goner. Take care of the other boys.” But the Lieutenant carried Corporal Fletcher out and he was evacuated to a U. S. military hospital in the rear of the lines.

WHEREAS, despite the best medical care, Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher died from his wounds of battle on August 8, 1944.

WHEREAS, Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher was awarded the following: The Silver Star Medal, two Purple Heart medals, two Good Conduct medals, The American Defense Service Medal, the European-African Campaign Medal with 4 (Campaign) Stars and two (invasion) arrowheads, and the World War II Victory Medal. Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher lays in peaceful sleep in the hands of the Supreme Commander at Round Lake Cemetery near Toto, Starke County, Indiana.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that Fletcher Branch Road (CR- 1113), located off Kentucky State Route 867 in Magoffin County from mile point 0.00 to 0.578 shall be forever known as Corporal Morris Manuel Fletcher Memorial Road.

Done this the 23rd day of May, 2022
Matthew C. Wireman, Magoffin County Judge/Executive
Darrell Ray Howard, Magistrate District 1
Pernell Lemaster, Magistrate District 2
Joe Bailey, Magistrate District 3
Attest: Renee Arnett Shepherd, County Clerk

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